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If context is needed, I'm happy to supply it.. The sentence I want to rephrase:

Some selection of this kind has for some time been imperatively called for, by the wants of the gardener, farmer, and amateur, the multiplicity of sorts in the larger works and catalogues rendering them nearly useless to those who merely wish to know those kind adapted for family or market supply.

I'm at a loss of words for interpreting the sentence into concise rephrasing for elementary comprehension.

It's from a book by Robert Buist titled "The Family Kitchen Gardener" (Full book). The sentence is under PREFACE a few paragraphs down.

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My interpretation is that the author has selected a limited number of vegetables and fruits from a large array (the multiplicity) usually presented in other gardening books and in gardening catalogues.

These "larger works and catalogues" are not useful to farmers, gardeners or amateurs, because they present Too Much Information and offer too many varieties of seeds and cuttings.

Many of these varieties are not easily grown. Thus the farmer or market gardener cannot easily supply his market, or even easily feed his family by growing these finicky varieties. Even for the hobbyist gardener, they offer few rewards for much labor.

The above is not concise! The concise version:

In contrast to the encyclopedic approach of other books and catalogues, this book has selected a limited number of easily grown and hardy varieties of vegetables and fruits. Cultivation of these varieties will produce large yields for the farmer and market gardener, and enjoyment for the amateur.

Edit: The OP gave a link which supplies context for the paragraph quoted. It helps to read the Preface in the link, as the OP recommended.

  • 1
    The original quote says nothing at all about enjoyment. Rather, it seems to be talking about varieties that can easily be grown to feed your family or sell at market (I'm parsing "for family or market supply" as "to supply the family or market"). Further, the title of the book strongly suggests that it's oriented towards food production rather than simply growing plants for fun. – David Richerby Dec 26 '15 at 10:31
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    @David Richerby It mentions the "amateur"; in 1847, the amateur did a thing simply for the love of doing it. In 1847, the word amateur did not have the connotation of today, which is not good enough to be a professional. Also, if you read the link the OP provided, it becomes clear. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Dec 26 '15 at 13:35
  • This is basically completely wrong, as Richard explains. – Fattie Dec 26 '15 at 18:59
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"Gardeners, farmers and amateurs have for some time needed a short list of recommended plants*; the lists in most books and catalogues are too long to be useful to those who only want to grow food either for the family or to sell at market."

.* Sort is one way of referring to the difference between a Bramley and a Golden Delicious apple. Type and variety have technical meanings: species is plainly wrong.

  • Thanks, the first time reading it through the sentence, it feels like a long single sentence but your semicolon makes it clear that its two thoughts in a single sentence. Am I reading this correctlY? – TeamHal Dec 26 '15 at 16:00
  • @TeamHal: In a way. The semicolon could be replaced by ", since", which would 'recombine' it without changing the sense. As lawyers often find, expanding every phrase to make sure it is not misunderstood can make a sentence so long that it is not understood at all. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Dec 26 '15 at 16:29
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Some selection of this kind has for some time been imperatively called for, by the wants of the gardener, farmer, and amateur, the multiplicity of sorts [large variety] in the larger works and catalogues rendering them nearly useless to those who merely wish to know those kind adapted [the ones that work] for family or market supply.

Now remove the bold text, and the meaning will magically appear.

1

The author is simply saying:

"There's a huge amount of this information around for professionals. But plenty of people just want to know 'what the hell to buy' for family use. For that reason, I'm supplying my own, more concise version, of this information. You can sign-up now using PayPal or other (monthly repeating) payment methods."

It's That Simple.

You know how all advertising and marketing is just total, complete, unmitigated bullshit?

You've stumbled on to some marketing bullshit fro the 1800s.

Naturally it is "overwritten" in a ridiculously complicated way using too many adjective-forms, and so on.

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    Could you find a way to make your point without the vulgarities? – Lightness Races with Monica Dec 26 '15 at 19:28
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    Hi Lightness! I tried to rewrite it, but I still had to use the word "advertising" a number of times. Sorry! – Fattie Dec 26 '15 at 19:32
  • fro -> from. No, I can't fix it myself, SE has a 6 char lower limit. – Faheem Mitha Dec 26 '15 at 22:03
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    You are probably correct about the advertising BS, if only because all catalogues contain advertising BS -- some more, some less than others. (+1, if only to not sound like sour grapes.) But that doesn't mean that they are not useful reflections of their times. As for professionals, the only professions around in 1847 were the legal and medical. Large landholders were "gentlemen" and small-holders were working farmers. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Dec 26 '15 at 22:23
  • Afterthought: and maybe banking was considered a profession then. – ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow Dec 26 '15 at 22:56

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